I was not one of the cool kids when I was in High School in the 70s. I had some great friends (being a band geek has its benefits), but I was not part of the in-crowd.
I didn’t wear cool clothes (unless Snoopy T-shirts and corduroy pants count as cool).
I didn’t drive a cool car (but I shared a 65 Chevy II with my sisters).
I didn’t have a cool job (although I delivered papers through my first two years of HS).
One thing my friends and I did do, though, was joke around as if we were cool. Every stereotype of the cool crowd was at our disposal. We were hilarious, trust me. And if all else failed, we’d assure each other of our certain uber-cool existence with this compliment of awesomeness: You are hip, today, with it, now and outasite!
Why yes I am, thank you.
Staying Out Of Step
All of this came to mind in a discussion at Scribblepreach the other day. Nick listed some of Orson Welles’s insights on creativity, one of which said:
“I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.”
Being with it. Being cool and up to date. Being with the in-crowd.
Doing whatever it takes to get with it. Doing whatever it takes not to be out of date. Doing whatever it takes to avoid being outside the inner ring.
No one wants to be on the outside looking in, do they?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2.)
The pattern of this world is the pattern of conforming to everyone’s expectations. Whether it’s being part of the in-crowd, or living up to your family’s expectations, or dressing like you stepped off the cover of GQ or Vogue, that’s the world’s pattern.
That’s not us. That’s not the way things are in the kingdom of God. Instead, we are to adopt a new way of thinking, a transformation that comes from a renewing of the mind.
It’s a Spirit-led transformation, one that does lead to conforming, but in a radical manner that few on earth have ever called cool.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29.)
If you belong to Jesus, your destiny in God is determined: you are to be conformed to the image of Jesus himself. That will mean you are out of step with the world’s values, its standard of coolness.
But inside the kingdom of God? Inside God’s ingdom you’re hip today, with it, now and outasite.